Did Federer and Nadal Ruin Tennis?

ctoth666

Banned
Crazy controversial title I know...but I wonder if anyone wants to have a shot at this. Is it worth considering that Federer and Nadal playing tennis with extreme shotmaking and flair and having distinct playing styles has caused this weak era, as we are calling it, by adversely affecting junior development?
 

LuckyLeftyNJ

New User
It wasn't just there flair and shotmaking ability, it's the technology now, the nutrition, the workouts for specific muscles, and the recovery methods afterward. They just don't have the experience that the veteran tour players have and won't have until they are veterans. The veteran players compared to the young guys are considerably more muscular, toned, and conditioned. But it isnt just that, it's that they can withstand there level of play for longer periods in their careers. Very rarely do players at the age of 34 and 35 compete at a high level but it seems it started happening more in the 90's and stopped a little in the 2000's and is now back. I would like to see where this thread goes though. Its my first post too, I have read the forum for over a year and felt it was time to make an account.
 

Firstservingman

Talk Tennis Guru
It wasn't just there flair and shotmaking ability, it's the technology now, the nutrition, the workouts for specific muscles, and the recovery methods afterward. They just don't have the experience that the veteran tour players have and won't have until they are veterans. The veteran players compared to the young guys are considerably more muscular, toned, and conditioned. But it isnt just that, it's that they can withstand there level of play for longer periods in their careers. Very rarely do players at the age of 34 and 35 compete at a high level but it seems it started happening more in the 90's and stopped a little in the 2000's and is now back. I would like to see where this thread goes though. Its my first post too, I have read the forum for over a year and felt it was time to make an account.
Welcome. :)

Also lucky you, you get to have a profile picture immediately. I had to wait until I had 50 posts... :(
 

LuckyLeftyNJ

New User
Welcome. :)

Also lucky you, you get to have a profile picture immediately. I had to wait until I had 50 posts... :(
Couldn't find anything good. I am a big Rafa and Fed fan but if I couldn't pick between.
Some of the guys in my generation that I believe can win multiple slams are Thiem, Kyrgios (if he ever really gives it his all into the sport), Zverev (needs more power, but that comes in the coming years during his early 20's with muscle maturity), Fritz (who I think is mentally weak and has below-average mechanics. He follows-through on his back hand like 6/10 shots I feel like.), and maybe Coric if he is brought down too much mentally and physically from his injury and past injuries.
 

Firstservingman

Talk Tennis Guru
Couldn't find anything good. I am a big Rafa and Fed fan but if I couldn't pick between.
Some of the guys in my generation that I believe can win multiple slams are Thiem, Kyrgios (if he ever really gives it his all into the sport), Zverev (needs more power, but that comes in the coming years during his early 20's with muscle maturity), Fritz (who I think is mentally weak and has below-average mechanics. He follows-through on his back hand like 6/10 shots I feel like.), and maybe Coric if he is brought down too much mentally and physically from his injury and past injuries.
I think Lucas Pouille has a bright future. His match against Nadal at the US Open was great, and he's had some other good ones too.

I think Kyrgios' success will be mainly limited by his dedication to tennis. If he commits, he could do well, but if he doesn't, then his results will continue to reflect that.
 

Kalin

Legend
It's not Roger and Rafa's fault that the current generation, with the possible exception of Thiem, largely consists of talentless mental midgets. Yes, R & R's genius makes the younger guys look even worse by comparison but that's about it.

Remove Roger and Rafa and replace them with, let's say, Lendl and Edberg, and the picture would still be exactly the same. The young guys are just not good enough compared to pretty much any top generation of yore.
 

Jackuar

Hall of Fame
To some extent, Fed-Rafa mainly, and Djoko-Murray have very well exploited the "transition phase in technology" decade. Better racquets, fast-to-medium-slow court transition, more emphasis on advanced medical care, computerized analysis of where one's toe is and butt moves and hands grope, too much statistical analysis revealing anything and everything. They had prev gen players with old technical stuff and the new next gen who still hasn't become pro and has milked everything in between. The next generation will not have another Big 4 because everyone else has been brought up via the same technology and its benefit.

Having said that, its in no way their fault that they managed to come up in this golden period. Afterall, they made use of their present time and whatever is available to them and kudos to them for that.

Edit: What I'll blame these 4 for though, is what they leave behind. Not Roger but the other three. Having enjoyed an advantage, they've pushed tennis to a more-physical sport than more-technical. Even Roger had to adapt unfortunately for that, from being fast-court player to a medium-slow court player. He hasn't lost his elegant play but still you can see the diff from 2003 vs 2013. The other 3 have made it a pushover baseline game for the next gen to follow which is what I'll blame them for.
 
D

Deleted member 733170

Guest
For the rest of the players in their generation they absolutely destroyed it.
 

Anton H

New User
The 'advancements' in racket technology can be partly balmed for what is going on. I think the ITF and ATP should have done something about racket head size a long time ago. The current younger players grow up playing 100 square inch rackets. Which hurts their technique in the long run. Fed is the only one playing an actual modern racket now. Murray plays with a prestige from the early 2000's or late 90s. Djokovics and berdich play with a radical from the same era. Nadal has been playing with the same babolat fly swatter (you'll notice i'm not a big fan of babolat) since his first day on tour. So you can't say it's advancements in tech.

Personally i'd like to see the ATP reduce racket head size to 90 square inch. Go back to the days of skill and do away with those 100 square inch rocket launchers.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
It wasn't just there flair and shotmaking ability, it's the technology now, the nutrition, the workouts for specific muscles, and the recovery methods afterward. They just don't have the experience that the veteran tour players have and won't have until they are veterans. The veteran players compared to the young guys are considerably more muscular, toned, and conditioned. But it isnt just that, it's that they can withstand there level of play for longer periods in their careers. Very rarely do players at the age of 34 and 35 compete at a high level but it seems it started happening more in the 90's and stopped a little in the 2000's and is now back. I would like to see where this thread goes though. Its my first post too, I have read the forum for over a year and felt it was time to make an account.
Don't forget 1968-1974. Lots of old players competing then on an insane level...
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
To some extent, Fed-Rafa mainly, and Djoko-Murray have very well exploited the "transition phase in technology" decade. Better racquets, fast-to-medium-slow court transition, more emphasis on advanced medical care, computerized analysis of where one's toe is and butt moves and hands grope, too much statistical analysis revealing anything and everything. They had prev gen players with old technical stuff and the new next gen who still hasn't become pro and has milked everything in between. The next generation will not have another Big 4 because everyone else has been brought up via the same technology and its benefit.

Having said that, its in no way their fault that they managed to come up in this golden period. Afterall, they made use of their present time and whatever is available to them and kudos to them for that.

Edit: What I'll blame these 4 for though, is what they leave behind. Not Roger but the other three. Having enjoyed an advantage, they've pushed tennis to a more-physical sport than more-technical. Even Roger had to adapt unfortunately for that, from being fast-court player to a medium-slow court player. He hasn't lost his elegant play but still you can see the diff from 2003 vs 2013. The other 3 have made it a pushover baseline game for the next gen to follow which is what I'll blame them for.
I'm sorry, but I find this assertion ridiculous. How on earth is it their fault that the surfaces were slowed? Despite what the WTA likes to think, being physically-fit is not an optional component of tennis. Tennis is a physical sport. It doesn't matter how Federer makes tennis look more ballet than a sport, the fact remains that it is a sport--and an extremely athletically-demanding one at that too. Tennis isn't a video game where a nice-guy-nerd stereotype whose diet consists solely of the "grains" Cheetos or Doritos could conceivably beat a brotein shake-guzzling, d0uchebag-jock-Chad stereotype with nothing but 100% skill. Hell, even dance requires ridiculous athleticism at the highest levels. It would be an insult to insinuate that Federer is some sort of couch potato who was born with natural tennis skills handed down by God himself. The guy was one of the fittest players on tour in his breakout year (despite how scrawny his arms may appear, he is equally as strong and lean as Rafa, Djokovic, and Murray), and still remains one of the fittest players on tour now. Then you have to consider that Federer wasn't even the first "athlete" at all--he was preceded by the likes of Sampras--who many claim even now was in his prime one of the greatest athletes to play the game, and then Lendl before that, who we can truly credit for taking professional approach to the game. I mean, what are you arguing here? That Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray is to blame for making professional tennis players take their athleticism and physical fitness seriously? That is a mindbogglingly stupid claim to be making.

Re: slowing of the surfaces, yes, it is true that Nadal specifically has wished for slower surfaces for more "point construction", but it is also true that he's pushed for more natural surfaces throughout the year (that includes grass, in case it was 100% self-serving on his part). However, he was obviously unsuccessful. More importantly, it is also true that the slowing of the surfaces started (beginning with Wimbledon) at the beginning of this millennium, almost half a decade before Nadal even won his first big title. I'm more inclined to believe that the change in surface speed has to do with the governing bodies still failing to realise that they went overboard with the knee-jerk reaction to the servefests of the 90s that many did not enjoy, and not as a result of the rest of the Big Four using their clout to push for cookie cutter baseline-oriented tennis.

I'm also struggling to see how Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray should be blamed for influencing future generations. Tennis players don't go out their way to influence future generations, but their popularity does play a big role. But this line of thinking is rather flawed. Murray is popular with most Brits two weeks a year. Djokovic is popular in the region between the westernmost and easternmost shores of the Balkan Peninsula, and also with the fifty people who show up to watch the Shanghai Masters and the Beijing 500. Only Nadal has worldwide fame, but he is also hated by every other tennis fan for reasons that most of us are very well familiar with. "Don't emulate Rafa" is a practically a catchphrase amongst coaches who have yet to learn that the windshield wiper forehand is a tennis stroke and not a car part. You would think that with Federer's undoubtedly massive popularity, it would surely be him that would inspire players to play like him, no? Surely it can't be just the guys on these boards and the 50+ year old 3.5 hacks at the local parks who claim to play 95% just like Roger.

My point is that blaming Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray for changing tennis into a physical sport (as if tennis was a non-physical sport before--please) is a classic case of oversimplifying a problem to the point where it no longer meets reality. The only thing it could meet is preconceived biases. Because Federer looks so graceful on court compared to the likes of Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray, it's easy to forget that Federer is an exceptional athlete, and a physical specimen in his own right. Someone who hates Murray could easily employ all sorts of mental gymnastics to blame him for the likes of Kyrgios and Dimitrov being angsty mental midgets, but that doesn't mean it is accurate. Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray did not sit down with the ATP and ITF behind Roger's back to have all surfaces slowed, and the fact that the surfaces were being slowed even before the three of them (or even Federer, for that matter) became household names makes this all the more flat-out dishonest.
 

Zoolander

Hall of Fame
What ruined tennis 2.0:
big balls
big racquets
big players
big players with big balls
big........ things
underwear
WADA
too much ball bouncing by big players wearing no underwear
 

Jackuar

Hall of Fame
I'm sorry, but I find this assertion ridiculous. How on earth is it their fault that the surfaces were slowed?
Read my second para. I said - "Having said that, its in no way their fault..."

And again quoting myself... I said they made the sport "more-physical".... Ever heard of "comparative tense" ? I didn't say tennis was previously non-physical at all. Its only that these 3 made it more-physical by running post to pillar on the courts, making it ever more harder to win a point against them, makes the opponent run harder from the baseline against them (which is not bad, afterall, every point is damn worth it), who in turn carry that effect in their other matches and percolates down to the next generation. How many serve-and volley players have we now from those in the 20-25 age group and what do you think is the reason there isn't much? That's because S&V became irrelevant, which in turn is because these baseliners were more dominant in their game play. So, although not intended by them, it made the sport more of a marathon at the very top level. If Rafa, Djoko and Murray had learned how to win a point on technique than running 50 feet on a 20 foot court, we won't have 6 hour long slug fests.

You didn't have to type that long a post if you understood my point.
 

Deanjam

Professional
It wasn't just there flair and shotmaking ability, it's the technology now, the nutrition, the workouts for specific muscles, and the recovery methods afterward. They just don't have the experience that the veteran tour players have and won't have until they are veterans. The veteran players compared to the young guys are considerably more muscular, toned, and conditioned. But it isnt just that, it's that they can withstand there level of play for longer periods in their careers. Very rarely do players at the age of 34 and 35 compete at a high level but it seems it started happening more in the 90's and stopped a little in the 2000's and is now back. I would like to see where this thread goes though. Its my first post too, I have read the forum for over a year and felt it was time to make an account.
Welcome to the forum. Nice to see someone join to post something thoughtful.
 

6august

Hall of Fame
The 'advancements' in racket technology can be partly balmed for what is going on. I think the ITF and ATP should have done something about racket head size a long time ago. The current younger players grow up playing 100 square inch rackets. Which hurts their technique in the long run. Fed is the only one playing an actual modern racket now. Murray plays with a prestige from the early 2000's or late 90s. Djokovics and berdich play with a radical from the same era. Nadal has been playing with the same babolat fly swatter (you'll notice i'm not a big fan of babolat) since his first day on tour. So you can't say it's advancements in tech.

Personally i'd like to see the ATP reduce racket head size to 90 square inch. Go back to the days of skill and do away with those 100 square inch rocket launchers.
Agassi?
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
On the contrary if nobody took the mantle of Sampras and Agassi, tennis would've suffered. Tennis needs rivalries at the top to thrive in popularity and Federer and Nadal fit that bill in their primes, giving us unbelievable matches.

To be honest, nothing has ruined tennis. And nothing will ruin it to a devoted fan. The only way that could be done is if they oversaturated the calendar with slams or turned it into that "Fast 4" sideshow. It just goes through periods where it may not be as exciting to the casual viewer as it once was, but then it goes up again at some point. All other sports are like this as well.
 

Bukmeikara

Legend
Yeah he has dominated the Balon D'Or individual prize too.
To be fair not all of his Balon D"or were 100% deserved. In 2010 he probably had to be 4th and he ended winning it. Personaly I don't like the fact that they made the award a race between Ronaldo and Messi
 

Sunny014

Legend
ATP ruined tennis by homogenization of the courts.
French Open should have been tinkered over the years when Nadal started to look unbeatable on it.
Carpets should have been brought back, Grass should have been sped up like the 90s.

ATP should have ensured that neither of Federer or Nadal or Next Gen are at a huge adv or disdadv.
 

Tshooter

G.O.A.T.
ATP ruined tennis by homogenization of the courts.
French Open should have been tinkered over the years when Nadal started to look unbeatable on it.
Carpets should have been brought back, Grass should have been sped up like the 90s.

ATP should have ensured that neither of Federer or Nadal or Next Gen are at a huge adv or disdadv.
IMO, worst tennis of all time is W early 90s. ATP doesn’t influence the courts at the Majors which are not ATP events. Nice story though.
 

clayqueen

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal was beating top 5 players like Moya and Federer when he was 17. He also beat Albert Costa the reigning RG Champion at the age of 17 and rose to #2 in the world when all the players in Roger's era were still playing. We mustn't forget Djokovic and Murray either; they didn't move up the rankings as quickly as Rafa did (not many people do) but they were ranked in the top 4 for almost a decade before Murray got injured. That's the reason they are called the Big 4.

Nadal and Djokovic have been at the top of the game for 19 & 18 years respectively. So I don't think it's just to do with better equipment or medical advancement although that helps.
 

Pete Player

Hall of Fame
Living the era of the Big4 has been a privilege. Now in my low 50s, I wellcome new names to the top, like Medvedev #2. But it will be really hard to comprehend and addjust to the reality, when there will be five to ten players among the top 20-sh, who could win a Slam on any given year.

The sport wasn’t ruined, but rose up to the prime, it is now. The test in five-setters have allways been there, but the obstacles on both sides of the draws have been really high for two decades for the new generation, which will change, when Nole too will inevitable be over the hill after some more Slam victories.

Will the wall be as high for young players in the future? I’m thinking no. The average level has risen, but relatively the young gen is more equal than Fede and Nadal ever were in their primes compared to the competition behind their rivalry.
 

ewiewp

Hall of Fame
Crazy controversial title I know...but I wonder if anyone wants to have a shot at this. Is it worth considering that Federer and Nadal playing tennis with extreme shotmaking and flair and having distinct playing styles has caused this weak era, as we are calling it, by adversely affecting junior development?
Oh no. They are fabulous addition to the sport.

My only complain is that tennis slowed and skewed too much to baseline only.(not by Federer or Nadal but by ATP)
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
ATP ruined tennis by homogenization of the courts.
Homogenization is mainly a myth. Yes, there were some changes after the 90s, mainly to counter the effect of the new racquet technology and to enable rallyes instead of just serving. However, if homogenization were true, we wouldn’t have each of the Big 3 utterly dominating their "pet Slam" with 8, 9 and 13 titles while each of them having another Slam with just one title.
 

ron schaap

Hall of Fame
Crazy controversial title I know...but I wonder if anyone wants to have a shot at this. Is it worth considering that Federer and Nadal playing tennis with extreme shotmaking and flair and having distinct playing styles has caused this weak era, as we are calling it, by adversely affecting junior development?
it isnt a weak area at all. are you out of your mind? In the past with Mcenroe, Borg and Connors winning everything nobody dare to even suggest thus. Must be because you are American and dont like it when no American is even top 10.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Homogenization is mainly a myth. Yes, there were some changes after the 90s, mainly to counter the effect of the new racquet technology and to enable rallyes instead of just serving. However, if homogenization were true, we wouldn’t have each of the Big 3 utterly dominating their "pet Slam" with 8, 9 and 13 titles while each of them having another Slam with just one title.
Thats the myth, Pet Slam thing cannot hide anything.

Federer is the greatest fast courts player ever, or at least in the last 20 years.
Novak is best fast court player of his generation and one of the best ever on the medium courts too, since he is younger than Federer it enables him to win over Roger in 2010s as well.
Rafa is the undisputed GOAT of clay which means nobody can beat him across eras.

So Novak won like 9 Aus opens because Federer was quite old post 2011, otherwise Roger himself has 6 AOs, part of which were on rebound ace and part of which were on the plexi which arrived when he was in his 27th year.

So the pet slam thing won't work, AO could be called a mini pet slam for Federer as well since he has won there 6 times, so what now ?

Does that disprove homogenization? of course not !
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
it isnt a weak area at all. are you out of your mind? In the past with Mcenroe, Borg and Connors winning everything nobody dare to even suggest thus. Must be because you are American and dont like it when no American is even top 10.
McEnroe, Borg and Connors weren't 30's to mid 30's to late 30's dudes. There were other ATGs who arrived after those 3 as well. None today.
 

Novichok

Professional
The 'advancements' in racket technology can be partly balmed for what is going on. I think the ITF and ATP should have done something about racket head size a long time ago. The current younger players grow up playing 100 square inch rackets. Which hurts their technique in the long run. Fed is the only one playing an actual modern racket now. Murray plays with a prestige from the early 2000's or late 90s. Djokovics and berdich play with a radical from the same era. Nadal has been playing with the same babolat fly swatter (you'll notice i'm not a big fan of babolat) since his first day on tour. So you can't say it's advancements in tech.

Personally i'd like to see the ATP reduce racket head size to 90 square inch. Go back to the days of skill and do away with those 100 square inch rocket launchers.
Didn't Agassi and Seles play with an oversize racquet?
 
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